King wants his writers to think about how they are serving fans beyond writing what he calls “I-think-I-feel columns.”
“I looked at a lot of Web sites when the Michael Vick story broke, and they had an AP story with four people saying ‘I think, I feel,’” he said. “Isn’t it as important what the user thinks or feels? What are you doing to get that person closer to information that helps him or her figure out how they feel on this subject? … There’s only so much space for I-think-I-feel. After a while, it just becomes people yapping.”
Yesterday, Rob Neyer said this [link goes to Insider content] about reporters who conduct post-game interviews:
But I find myself accidentally watching a lot of these postgame interviews, and the interviewers can't seem to get through them without asking, usually first thing, a "feeling" question . . .So here's my question for you: Are those really the questions you want the "talent" to ask? I have this theory that TV people do a lot of things because they think it's what the audience wants or expects, even though the audience might want something quite different. I think the audience wants information rather than some obligatory profession of "feelings."
Having read Neyer for nearly a decade there is absolutely no question that such, um, feelings about feelings are genuine on his part and that the timing of this sentiment isn't an exercise in apple-polishing. Indeed, if there is anyone over at ESPN.com who is about getting readers "closer to information that helps him or her figure out how they feel on this subject," it's Rob.
One has to think that, of all of the writers at the WWL, Neyer will benefit the most by a move away from the I-think-I-feel yammering of talking heads and towards information delivery.